How our immune system fights cancer

The immune system is essential for protecting the body from disease. But cancer cells are able to ‘hide’ from the immune system and actively switch off immune attacks.

Excitingly, in recent years scientists have used this knowledge to develop new drugs — known as immunotherapies — that can turn the immune system back on, harnessing the body’s own defences to fight cancer. These drugs have been used to treat patients with previously incurable cancer types.  However, the drugs often cause dangerous side-effects that are related to a supercharged immune system. The major challenge facing immunologists now is to develop and refine these immunotherapies so that they are both safer and more effective.

Join an international panel of renowned research scientists and practising clinicians to explore how the immune system finds and destroys cancer cells, and what this means for the future of cancer treatment. Facilitated by Claudia Hammond, award-winning broadcaster, writer and lecturer. Followed by a drinks reception to celebrate World Immunology Day.

This event is in partnership with Nature Research and the British Society for Immunology. The organisers would also like to thank Cancer Research UK, AstraZeneca, eLife, BD Biosciences and Miltenyi Biotec for their financial support.